Joy for L&Q resident on her path to employment

Published on 12/05/2022

A High Wycombe resident who was on the hunt for a job has landed one a week into using her landlord’s employment service.

Monica’s career as a children’s book author had been a success – but finding a role to complement her writing career had proved challenging. That was until she found a new job with the help of charitable housing association, L&Q.

“L&Q’s employment team spent a significant amount of time on me and helped me to secure a job in a week. That’s incredible service by anyone’s standards.”

Monica began working as a Customer Services Adviser at Boots in April.

“I love talking and helping people, so it’s a great fit for me. The position is also completely home based so I don’t lose any time commuting,” Monica said.

But not all of Monica’s employment experiences have been as ideal. From 2009 to 2018 she worked at a betting shop, a demanding job that took its toll on her wellbeing and her writing.

“I worked at the shop for nine years, where I was often threatened and abused. Spending so much time on my feet was exhausting and the long hours took me away from my writing.”

Monica was renting privately at the time. With high monthly outgoings, she had to work long shifts to make ends meet, sometimes working up to 14 hours a day.

In early 2022, Monica moved into her L&Q home in High Wycombe. Operating as a charitable housing association, over 60% of their homes are available for social rent – of which costs range between 40% and 60% of market rent level.

Monica credits her new home with allowing her to focus on her creative talents and look for a part-time role. But after spending four years outside the world of work, the job market as she had known it had changed drastically.

“I’d been out of work for a while and my confidence was low”, Monica said.

It was at that point that Monica learnt about L&Q’s free employment support service.

“I was speaking to someone in the rent department, and they mentioned the service and referred me straight away”, Monica continued.

Monica was offered a range of support options through a dedicated employment advisor.

“Claudette coached, supported, and encouraged me in such a friendly manner, that I was put instantly at ease. She put a lot of effort into researching the work I was looking for, helped me get my CV up to scratch, and gave me tips on how to adapt it for different roles.”

Monica also attended L&Q employment support courses that include an element of emotional resilience training and confidence building designed to help people cope with their job hunt and bounce back from any stumbles experienced along the way.

“The courses were great. Paired with Claudette’s support, I learnt how to put my best foot forward in interviews”, Monica said.

An avid reader, Monica, developed a passion for writing and storytelling at a young age, and now writes children’s books to help support conversations about race and disability. 

“When I was at school, I had a brilliant English teacher who encouraged me to pursue my passion. I’ve been writing ever since, and I’m pleased I’ve been able to turn my hobby into something worthwhile.”

Matt Corbett, Director of L&Q Foundation, said:

“As a social landlord, we have the opportunity to step in and help navigate residents through the rising tide of job market uncertainty.

When it comes to employability support it can’t just be about numbers and statistics. It has to be about positive outcomes and finding the right job for the resident. This was exactly the case for Monica, and I’m pleased to hear that she is happy in her new role.”